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Emiliana Simon-Thomas

14 Podcast Episodes

Latest 9 Oct 2021 | Updated Daily

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Emiliana Simon-Thomas on where happiness comes from

Berkeley Talks

Emiliana Simon-Thomas, science director of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, discusses happiness — what it means, where it comes from and how we can enhance it in each of our lives — during a Science at Cal lecture on July 28, 2021. Listen to the episode and read the transcript on Berkeley News. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 25mins

27 Aug 2021

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The Science of Happiness | Emiliana Simon-Thomas

Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

In a previous interview with Dan, the Dalai Lama said something along the lines of, “everyone’s selfish; that’s the way we’re wired. But if you’re going to be selfish, you should be wisely selfish.” Wise selfishness takes into account the fact that what really makes humans happy is to care for other people. This notion has been a central part of the Buddhist platform for millennia, but is now being borne out in scientific research. Today’s guest is Emiliana Simon-Thomas. She is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, where she is a co-instructor of its Science of Happiness online course. In this conversation, Emiliana talks to us about the difference between empathy and compassion, how we can be happier by being more compassionate and connected, what we misunderstand about love, and a more scientific definition for that culturally loaded term.Just to note -- this is a re-run of an older episode we pulled out of our vault for a few reasons: 1) It’s summer and we want to give our tireless staff a break; and 2) This is one of our all-time favorite episodes and one that many of our newer listeners may not have heard. For more science-based happiness practices, you can download the Ten Percent Happier app today: https://10percenthappier.app.link/install.Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/emiliana-simon-thomas-repostSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


7 Jul 2021

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Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Happiness


Psychologist Emiliana Simon-Thomas of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the science of happiness--what research can teach us about happiness.

1hr 32mins

12 Apr 2021

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260: The Science of Happiness | Emiliana Simon-Thomas

Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

In this episode, at this fraught moment in history, we're bringing on a leading scientist to help us tackle one of the most pernicious misconceptions that humans have ever fostered. The very roots of the word "happiness" reflect our assumption that happiness is something that happens to us, rather than something we can cultivate. "Hap" is the same root of words such "hapless," or "haphazard." It implies luck. But again, happiness is a skill that we can cultivate. Emiliana Simon-Thomas helps people learn this skill for themselves. Her online course - The Science of Happiness - has reached over half a million people worldwide. She's the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. And in this interview, we discuss how to make ourselves happier through generosity, which is literally part of our biology; how the pleasure of caring for others means we'll do it again. How empathy fatigue is real - and I debate with Emiliana about the meaning of selfishness. And, how we've got love wrong. Before we dive in, I want to flag that this is a conversation we recorded late last year, prior to the pandemic and recent racial justice protests in America, but the insights are as vital as ever.Where to find Emiliana Simon-Thomas online:Website: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/profile/emiliana_simon_thomasCourse: https://www.edx.org/course/the-science-of-happiness-3You can find meditations on compassion and much more on our app. Visit tenpercent.com to download the Ten Percent Happier app and kickstart your meditation practice. Visit tenpercent.com to sign up today.Other Resources Mentioned:Tania Singer - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tania_SingerBill Harbaugh - https://harbaugh.uoregon.edu/Darryl Cameron, compassion collapse - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collapse_of_compassionTonglen practice - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TonglenLove 2.0 by Barbara Fredrickson - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008BM0LMG/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1Additional Resources:Ten Percent Happier Live: https://tenpercent.com/liveCoronavirus Sanity Guide: https://www.tenpercent.com/coronavirussanityguideFree App access for Frontline Workers: https://tenpercent.com/careFull Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/emiliana-simon-thomas-260See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


29 Jun 2020

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Emiliana Simon-Thomas on the Science of Happiness in Times of Crisis

The Gap Year Podcast

Debbie Weil talks to Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, PhD, the science director of UC-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. This was a conversation the two arranged many weeks before the pandemic. It turned out to be perfectly timed.The center studies the psychology, sociology and neuroscience of well-being and teaches skills to foster a resilient and compassionate society. Kind of what we need right now as millions of Americans grapple with the realities of life defined by social distancing and with the economic repercussions. Emiliana is co-instructor, with Dacher Keltner, of the center's The Science of Happiness course which has been taken by over half a million students. It’s an eight-week online program which explores the roots of a happy, meaningful life by studying positive psychology and by learning how to create stronger social ties and contribute to  something bigger than yourself. In other words, the greater good. Debbie and Emiliana discuss happiness - what it means and what it is not. Hint: it is not pleasure or enjoyment. They talk about how happiness is different from gratitude and how we can cultivate a calm mind during a time of extreme uncertainty like the one we’re living in. Emiliana shares with us what she does to stay grounded (mindfulness during her daily shower is key). And offers practical tips for more compassionate communication either while Zooming for work or connecting remotely with family and friends. What they talked about:Simplifying your daily To Do list by reframing it into three categories (set a reachable goal, find joy, call a friend)Tips on how to work, teach and learn remotely (the importance of eye contact and taking time to ensure that emails are not ambiguous)Slowing down as a way to be more intentionalTo gain a feeling of control: focus on small things that are certain and for which you have agency Mentioned in the episode or usefulThe Greater Good Science CenterGreater Good Magazine (sign up for free e-newsletter)Greater Good's Guide to Well-Being During CoronavirusArticles by Emiliana for The Greater Good MagazineThe Science of Happiness (online course; register free)Expanding the Science and Practice of GratitudeThe Science of Happiness podcast hosted by Dacher Keltner, co-director of GGSCSome Tips on How to Stay Sane in a World That Isn't (NYTimes, March 22, 2020, quoting GGSC psychologist and senior fellow Rick Hanson on reframing) Support this podcast:Leave a review on iTunes: it means so much!Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or Spotify Credits:Host: Debbie WeilProducer: Julie-Roxane KrikorianPodcast websiteMusic by Manuel Senfft Connect with us:Email: thegapyearpodcast@gmail.comTwitter: @debbieweilInsta: @debbieweilDebbie and Sam's blog: Gap Year After Sixty


17 Apr 2020

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14: Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Happiness at Work

Happier At Work

Emiliana and I discuss all things happiness at work! The PERK framework - purpose, engagement, resilience, kindness. The importance of kindness in the workplace for business outcomes, especially when it comes to teamwork. How to communicate effectively and deal with conflict at work. The importance of mindfulness and gratitude at work. How there needs to be a culture and mindset shift away from the idea that work is bad and you can't be happy at work.Emiliana Simon-Thomas, PhD, is the Science Director at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Trained in neuroscience and social psychology, she runs the student research fellowship program, directs key science initiatives, and teaches the The Science of Happiness, a massive open online course on the edX platform that has enrolled over 600,000 people worldwide. She also teaches the Science of Happiness at Work Professional Certificate Series on edX, and serves as an expert voice on the biology and psychology of well-being around the world. Her work highlights the critical role that pro-social experiences and behaviors play in happiness, and addresses research-backed approaches to improving happiness - like practicing mindfulness, or strengthening habits of compassion, gratitude, and generosity. Overall, Emiliana's work leverages scientific insights to help people live better lives individually, in relationship with others, within organizations and communities, and society-wide.https://ggsc.berkeley.edu https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/who_we_serve/researchers/uc_berkeley_student_fellowships https://www.edx.org/course/the-science-of-happiness-3 https://www.edx.org/professional-certificate/berkeleyx-science-of-happiness-at-workDublin Goal setting tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/goal-setting-workshop-kick-start-2020-with-a-mindset-for-success-tickets-83313644353Galway Goal setting tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/goal-setting-workshop-to-kick-start-2020-tickets-84865255263My website: www.empowermentcoaching.ie

1hr 3mins

13 Dec 2019

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Purpose, Passion, and Engagement in the Workplace, with Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D.


Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., the Science Director at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and a leading expert on the neuroscience and psychology of compassion, kindness, gratitude, and other “pro-social” skills, and Wisdom Labs’ Dr. Parneet Pal discuss purpose, passion, engagement, and kindness in the workplace. Emiliana shares her insight and specific practices to help create ... Read more


22 Oct 2019

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Gratitude, with Emiliana Simon-Thomas


Dr. Emiliana Simon-Thomas is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley and a leading expert on the neuroscience and psychology of compassion, kindness, gratitude, and other “pro-social” skills. On this episode, Emiliana and Kim Forrester talk about the power of gratitude, and discuss and discuss how we can all enhance our well-being by being deeply and authentically grateful.


4 Jun 2019

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WW012 – “Happiness at Work: Fact or Fiction?” – Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D.


In This Episode Neuroscientist, Emiliana Simon Thomas, the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC, Berkeley., and edX “Science of Happiness” course instructor, and Wisdom Labs’ Parneet Pal discuss happiness in the workplace. Emiliana shares tools to design a workday for optimizing happiness, the difference between moments of positive emotion and overall ... Read more

4 Sep 2018

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CM 094: Emiliana Simon-Thomas On How To Be Happier

Curious Minds at Work

We have more control over our happiness than we think. And if we follow the advice of the most cutting-edge happiness researchers, we can help others achieve it, as well.Emiliana Simon-Thomas happens to be one of those researchers. A neuroscientist and Science Director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, she speaks and writes about the connection between happiness, meaning, compassion and wellbeing. She also co-teaches an online course, The Science of Happiness that, to date, has been taken by over 450,000 people.In this interview we discuss: Just how important social relationships are to our happiness and wellbeing How our baseline for study is social, not solitary The fact that social deprivation leads to greater stress, lowered resilience, and less happiness How friendships helps us reframe challenges as more achievable The fact that an ongoing sequence of pleasurable moments does not guarantee happiness How happiness is derived from a rich emotional life that includes negative emotions How happiness speaks to the ease with which we experience the entire range of human emotion The fact that happiness stems from our ability to transcend ourselves - to view our lives in relation to a bigger purpose How the ways we spend our time, where we put our focus, and how we view others determines our happiness How forgiving others can have a greater impact on us than the person we forgive How mindfulness is about noticing the world beyond ourselves How graduates of the Science of Happiness course show significant improvement when it comes to happiness, flourishing, and connections to others, along with decreased loneliness and stress The fact that the quality of our relationships has a significant impact on our happiness The game changing difference it makes when we express our gratitude toward others How practicing gratitude helps us feel more optimistic, decreases our self-absorption, and increases feelings of pleasure that can create a reinforcing loop How practicing gratitude and showing appreciation can shift workplace culture The difference between valuing someone for who they are versus what they achieve How our ability to express gratitude and to show compassion are culturally influenced habits, not gendered skills How the data shows that happier employees are more productive, more engaged, more loyal and more attentive to creating a better customer experience The importance role self-compassion plays in our ability to be happy, to show compassion to others, and to improve or maintain our wellbeingLinks to Episode TopicsEmiliana R. Simon-Thomas@GreaterGoodSCThe Expanding Gratitude ProjectGratitude and Wellbeing at WorkThe Science of Happiness courseEric LiuSocial baseline theory - James Coan and David SbarraRobert EmmonsJudson BrewerThe Gratitude Diaries by Janice KaplanCenter for Positive OrganizationsDavitaKristin NeffIf you enjoy the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes - your ratings make all the difference. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to subscribe. As always, thanks for listening!


17 Dec 2017